The city of Arnold is taking a mulligan on its golf course.
The city’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which runs from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31, 2020, will not include funds to operate the Arnold Golf Club.
The City Council will vote on the budget during its meeting at 7 p.m. tonight (Aug. 15) at Arnold City Hall, 2101 Jeffco Blvd.
“It (the golf course) has been a failure from Day 1,” Arnold Mayor Ron Counts said. “It has never made money. It has not even broken even. It has been subsidized by the city since inception. It is something that has not worked well for our city.
“It is not like we haven’t give the golf course a fair chance. I just don’t think we can continue to subsidize this kind of money.”
Arnold City Administrator Bryan Richison said the 18-hole golf course will likely remain open until Aug. 31. The city will then convert it into a large park area that will be open to the public while officials decide what else can be done with the land.
The Arnold Golf Club comprises 118 acres.
“I anticipate there will be many different ideas that will have all kinds of different price tags,” Richison said. “I think it will take a good number of meetings, research and discussion to get a plan.”
The decision to stop running the golf course, which the city has subsidized since purchasing what was called the Pomme Creek Golf Course in 2007, was made after Richison presented a budget during a council work session Aug. 8 that showed Arnold would have to pay an estimated $450,000 to keep the course open in the next year.
The budget predicted the course would generate $367,100 in revenue this fiscal year. However, it would cost $834,564 to operate, minus cash on hand.
Counts informally polled the council members, asking councilmen if they wanted to keep the golf course in the budget and continue to run it for another year or remove it from the budget and spend the next year to decide what to do with the course.
Six councilmen said they wanted to close the course: EJ Fleischmann and Jason Fulbright, representing Ward 1; Brian McArthur and Tim Seidenstricker, representing Ward 2; Ward 3 Councilman Mark Hood; and Ward 4 Councilman Butch Cooley.
“I was a little shocked by the numbers,” Fulbright said. “I understand that the expense this year for 2020 is because things happen in 2019, but it is getting to the point that it is costing way too much.”
Ward 3 Councilman Vern Sullivan and Ward 4 Councilman Gary Plunk said they wanted to keep the course open.